Challenging HIV. Changing women’s lives. These words fuel our work in British Columbia and across Canada, improving medical care and social realities for women living with HIV.
From the start of the organization in 1991, we’ve been a group of HIV–infected and HIV-affected women working together. As the leading HIV+ women explained at the time, they embraced a partnership of infected and affected women so that the women with HIV could focus their energy on staying healthy and the affected women could put the energy needed into bringing program and support ideas into reality.
The partnership continues to this day. We believe in the strength of partnerships in building a strong community, and this is reflected in our daily work as well as long-term projects with other organizations.
The lived experiences of HIV+ women guide our work, including support services, health promotion, and resources. We welcome women to a non-judgmental, confidential, and respectful environment. A wide range of women access our services, which are offered in person, over the phone, and via multiple websites and social networking. We are trans-inclusive and child-friendly.
We work with a variety of HIV organizations, as well as doctors, nurses, social workers, transition house staff, sexual health service providers, students…. You get the picture. We collaborate in partnerships to develop and deliver programs and resources that fit the community.
Our work has been honoured by our communities:
Marcie Summers, our Executive Director, won an AccolAIDS Award (2014) and was nominated as one of YWCA’s Women of Distinction (2011).
YouthCO named us an Outstanding Community Partner (2007).
We received an AccolAIDS Award for Innovative Programs and Service Delivery (2007).
Our resources are used across the country, and we’ve been advised by our national distributor that the Pocket Guide for Women Living with HIV is the most requested women’s HIV resource in Canada.
Women know the issues. We know that poverty exists. We know that violence and racism are real in women’s lives. We know that women are caregivers, and that women’s needs often come last. And we know that women have the answers.